It may seem an odd thing to say, but entering the Paramount Bar directly off the street immediately seems to denigrate the place. You get to used to walking into bars at Ian Schrager Hotels by ascending stairs or walking through superb hotel lobbies (although it is an option) but in this instance there is no build up and so you immediately have to face your expectations.
The amber glow of the bar gives the bar a warmth which is further enhanced by the soft furnishings and nice touches like the chalk board walls scrawled with useful/useless little life statements. Furry throws on plush sofas and the cool powder blue hue of the lit bar are mixed with the obligatory chandeliers and enough candles to persuade you that you are at some ritual ceremony. The Brother Hood of the Bar perhaps… :-)
At the end of the bar a DJ spins out some tunes although I'd say with a bit too much volume for a bar rather than night-club. It becomes intrusive in conversations so gets marked down for this. The attractive waitresses wind their way through the crowds of punters and manage to serve even the most isolated clientele. The cocktails are perfectly concocted which seems to be a skill harder to find in England or at least more expensive. The crowd on our visit all looked very comfortable but quite temporal and clearly stopping on the way to somewhere else (probably home) and all looked quite affluent judging 'by the rocks that they got' (lyric altered and blatantly ripped off from Ms Jennifer Lopez). But this was not a positive aspect... We only stayed for a couple of drinks and despite having booked a table did not make use of it.
Definitely a bar to lounge in when the DJ is under control and a superb people watchers paradise. Only problem seemed to be that everyone seemed to be people watching. Or maybe we were just wearing our underwear on our heads (again!).
I must admit, I didn't really go much on the Paramount bar. Perhaps it would have been better had we been ensconsed at the table we never used, but I found it way too small, packed and loud. Now, plenty of other places we went to had exactly the same attributes, but I was also left with the overriding impression of snobiness, which didn't help all the other bad points. Sure, it looks cool and dark, and the service was ok, but it felt too much like a prelude to something (as Karim also commented on) than a place you'd want to linger in.
Great bar full of potential, however, on our visit it did not seem to reach that potential.
Cool, chic Philippe Starck designed bar. Good service, good drinks.
Lacks something, probably the people. DJ unnecessary, music too loud.